Friday, November 13, 2015

#Buckeyes Preview 11.13.15: Ohio State @ #Illinois Fighting Illini

By @jddisantis

The third ranked Buckeyes (9-0, 5-0 Big Ten) will travel to Champaign on Saturday to take on the Fighting Illini of Illinois (5-4, 2-3 Big Ten). With Cardale Jones back at quarterback, Ohio State showed some of the same struggles it did previously in the season.  With J.T. Barrett back under center after serving a one game suspension, the Buckeyes will look to regain their chemistry and tempo on offense. With their two biggest games of the year coming after Illinois, the Buckeyes will need to stay focused on the task at hand and not get caught looking ahead.

The offense against the Gophers was once again stalled with Cardale Jones at quarterback.  The Buckeyes totaled their fewest amount of offense in Big Ten play this year racking up only 376 yards.  Coach Urban Meyer has brought calm back to the Buckeye faithful, as he named J.T. the starter for this weekend.  "(Barrett) will be the starter unless he does not have a good week of practice," Meyer said.

Ezekiel Elliott continued his 100-yard game streak to 14 as he racked up 114 and a touchdown on 26 carries.  But despite his success against Minnesota he averaged his second lowest yards per carry of the year at 4.4.  Zeke will be looking forward to the return of J.T. Barrett as well.

Illinois has lost three of their last four but are coming off of a 48-14 win against Purdue.  The Fighting Illini have had a lot of changeover this season.  Earlier this year head coach Tim Beckman was fired and interim coach Bill Cubit took over.  Earlier this week the school fired athletic director Mike Thomas.  Despite the changeover the Illini will be looking to return to bowl season this year with a sixth win and end the season on a better note than it started.

What:  Ohio State University vs. Illinois Fighting Illini
When:  Saturday, November 14, 2015 at 12:00PM ET
Where:  Memorial Stadium, Champaign, IL
Watch:  ABC
Line:  OSU -15, O/U 55

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